SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As right-hander David Hernandez stepped on the mound recently to throw a bullpen session, he got an idea.
What would happen, the D-backs reliever wondered, if instead of throwing from the first-base side of the pitching rubber, he instead moved toward the third-base side?
"I just tried it out in the bullpen the other day and it just felt really good," Hernandez said. "It felt like I was able to get out front to give my ball more of a downhill plane and it tightened my slider up."
When he was over on the first-base side, he felt like his front side would fly open a little bit, and when he's on the other side, he stays closed longer and has better command.
There is also one other possible benefit.
"On the first-base side, it's probably easier for right-handed hitters to pick [the ball] up compared to being on the third-base side," he said. "We'll see if it makes a difference."